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Genetic Testing and Health Clearances in Labradors: What do all of these results mean?

vc_rowvc_columnvc_column_textBy this point you’ve probably read through various breeder websites, trying to educate yourself on the breed, finding a puppy, and what makes a good breeder. You’ve read over countless acronyms like OFA, EIC, PRA, CNM, TVD, and the list goes on… what do all of these things mean? What is important to test for? And most importantly, what does it all mean for your puppy? So let’s start with the basics. “Back in the day”, we all knew to at a minimum x-ray hips and check eyes before breeding our Labradors. The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals- https://www.ofa.org/) works …

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Why does a breeder have a CONTRACT or “Health Guarantee??”

We get a lot of questions about our “contract” or “health guarantee” that we offer at Endless Mt. Labradors. To be honest, 34 years ago when I began to breed, I literally asked my mentor, Sally Kelly (Kelly Green Labradors) if I could use hers (I always felt doing things professionally was the best way to go). My other mentor in the breed recommended it also, as she had been scammed so many times she had to start to protect herself. So she helped me further improve the contact and health guarantee to better protect the breeder and the consumer …

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Therapeutic Beds for your Aging or Senior Labrador

This blog is rather personal for me, and I’m sure I’ll have completed it having shed many tears in the writing of it. It just so happens that my dear Amy (a Romeo daughter) is almost 13, but is creeping into those senior years. Now, she still walks 2 miles a day with me and is doing quite well for an old gal. But I did many things right with Amy, and many things wrong. But one of the things that is on my mind now is that I want to do right by her is in getting her a GOOD, …

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DO NOT BUY A PUPPY OR DOG UNTIL YOU READ THIS!!!

So you want a puppy? Should you adopt From a breeder? What do you need to know before you start your quest?  What are the pitfalls to avoid? Also:  You’ve found the perfect “furbaby,” now what? Discover the best way to navigate the waters of welcoming a new canine family member. The information in Insider Secrets to Adopting the Right Dog allows you to experience a smooth, peaceful transition for you and your new addition. Insider Secrets includes sections on puppy training, how to choose a breeder, how to choose an individual dog, how to house-train, and socialize your new …

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Anal Glands: We “express” an understanding of the “root cause” of problems that arise

Most dogs at some time in their lives can be caught doing the ‘boot-scootin’ boogie’ on your carpet while you cry, “nooooo….”(in embarrassment, if there are guests! Lol) There are many possible reasons for this behavior, but most times its to relieve itchy, irritated, inflamed, or even impacted anal glands. The most common causes of anal gland issues are diet (stool issues), trauma to the glands, tilted glands (most are at ‘8 and 4’ o’clock positions, but can be at 7 and 2, causing some discomfort) So the location of the glands can be an issue too. It’s best to …

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What food should I feed my pet?

How do I know what to feed my dog?? (Especially with so much info and brands marketing their food! It can be confusing!) In a recent survey of pet owners, about 25% revealed that they change the diet they feed their dog or cat every 12 months!!! (I was actually very shocked by that!) Interestingly, dog owners are most likely to switch to a higher quality food more than cat owners. Cat owners are more motivated by which food their cat likes eating. Because a lot of veterinarians are not trained in pet nutrition, many are turning online and to …

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How do I stop my dog from CHEWING??? (Satisfy your dog’s need to chew without making it a bad habit)

Since dogs are natural chewers and explore the world with their mouths a lot. Chewing sometimes alleviates boredom or stress but has many benefits as well:  cleans teeth, exercises their jaw muscles. But what about the problem chewer? How about the puppy that “needs” to chew when he is teething? Let’s explore, quickly, what is SAFE and what is appropriate for your pet…and let’s do it WITHOUT teaching them to chew as a “bad habit”!! (this is CRITICAL!) BORDOM: Dogs that get a lot of social and mental stimulation tend to chew less than their under-exercised/under stimulated counterparts. So its …

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I want a Labrador with a BIG HEAD!! (But do you know what to look for besides just size?)

For 34 years now, I’ve heard thousands say to me, “I want a Lab with a BIG HEAD!! “ or… my favorite…”I want a block-headed lab!” (And I’m thinking, “Uh….no, you don’t want a ‘stubborn pet!!’ Ha! Sorry—it just sounds so funny to me) But is it all just about just SIZE? (sorry) Or is also about also including the muzzle size/shape and eye set, dome of head, “stop”, and ear set—and are the ears balanced correctly with the entire head? (There was one bloodline we had a few decades ago that use to have ears occasionally that were a …

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Sink or Swim: Life lessons from a Puppy

In life, we often find ourselves powerless to avoid crisis, disappointment, and disillusionment. Still, we DO have a choice in how we react/respond to these hurtful interruptions that take up residence in our lives or turn it upside down. We’re tempted to give up, experience depression, or even lash out at the very people we love most. That’s when we decide if we will sink or swim. And its a lesson I’ve learned quite often from my dogs. One such experience occurred during a “first swimming lesson” in our pond on a hot, sunny day in July with a puppy …

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My Labs have been a lifeline for me during the Pandemic. Here is why.

From the time we began lockdown in March, I wondered how long it would last and what in the world the outcome would be. Of course, I never expected our country to splitter into such unrest, hate, and anger, and the story is still unfolding. But there are dogs. I can’t tell you how many days I faced slight depression over the fallout of this pandemic on the lives around us, and my dogs still managed to make me smile, embrace the important things in my life that I could cherish at the time (daily), and they provided some great …

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How much does it COST to own a DOG?

I’m so glad you asked!!! After over 33 years of owning dogs, I have to say that an ounce of prevention goes the farthest way. There are things you can do to SAVE you money that many people never think of. And here are the biggest mistakes people make that cost them money when they own a dog: Not purchasing Pet Insurance. This one hit me right between the eyes and gave me a black eye a time or two. We never “expect” our dog to chew through a stick that had an old rusty piece of barbwire in it. …

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Treating Heartworm Naturally

Ivermectin is a common medication know to be used to kill many different types of parasites. It’s most currently used in monthly heartworm prevention. It has also been  used to treat ear mites as well as hair mites, which can cause mange. It is used to treat some internal parasites as well, but is not use predominantly for this. “Additionally, certain dogs are genetically hypersensitive to the medication. In these dogs, ivermectin can pass directly to the brain and be toxic or even lethal. Sensitivity to the drug can also be seen in dogs or puppies that have overdosed on a similar medication …

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THINGS TO CONSIDER DURING COVID-19 – “You and your Pet”–by Donna Stanley, Founder, EML

THINGS TO CONSIDER DURING COVID-19/Social Isolation – “You and your Pet”–by Donna Stanley, Founder, EML 1. Remember that dogs (and cats) cannot give or get this virus. There are still scores of pets being abandoned (due to misinformation) and shelters are asking for our help in adopting if we can. I’ve referred at least 3 people just this week to animals like this. 2. Keep a close watch on your dog. Pets-especially purebred-especially labs–theft is on the rise–times are crazy–I’ll say no more… 3. Keep your pet exercised just like you should yourself, for your physical and mental stability, during …

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Why be a commercial kennel and how does that make us special??? (Not “big”)

Many times when people think “commercial” they think ‘big.” But in the state of PA we are required by law to have a license based on how many dogs go in and out of our kennel during a calendar year (this includes visiting dogs and stud services as well). For about 30 years we were categorized as “private” but a few years back we went (1) dog over the requirement for transferred dogs (in a calendar year—an oversight by  us and the dog law office) so our state required us to be ‘commercial’…and also put about $50,000+ into upgrading the …

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TAILS: What is a “twizzle” at the end of my Labrador’s tail?? And why should I care?

The very beginning of the “AKC standard for the Labrador Retriever” begins: “About the Labrador Retriever “The sturdy, well-balanced Labrador Retriever can, depending on the sex, stand from 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 to 80 pounds. The dense, hard coat comes in yellow, black, and a luscious chocolate. The head is wide, the eyes glimmer with kindliness, and the thick, tapering “otter tail” seems to be forever signaling the breed’s innate eagerness.” (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever/) Basically, the hair on your Lab’s tail should be swirled around itself “wrapping” the hair around the tail. The hair should …

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CAN YOUR DOG LIKELY GET OR GIVE CORONAVIRUS?

THE SCARE IS ON! (How should we react, I mean, we vaccinate our dogs for coronavirus, right?) The threat that the virus causing COVID-19 could sicken pets and spread between them and their owners is extremely low, veterinarians say. The type of coronavirus that is carried and sickens our pets is an absolutely different strain.Concerns about pet illness with COVID-19, and spread between owners and their animals emerged on Feb. 28, when Hong Kong health authorities announced that a dog belonging to a woman sick with COVID-19, also tested “weak positive” for the new coronavirus, the virus that causes the …

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The BEST Smart Dog Collars For 2020

Smart Dog Collars are a technology to help track your dog’s location and a whole other list of data. We have found some of the best smart dog collars and trackers for 2018. Dogs are one of the most rewarding pets a person can have. This is due to their loyalty and amazing personality, as well as the fact that they love you no matter what and are always there for you. Getting appropriate accessories for your dog is important because they’ve long ceased to be just ordinary accessories. Dog collars now aren’t just collars which go around your dog’s …

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New Disney Plus Dog Documentary Released!!

New Disney Plus Dog Documentary  Check this out!  Disney plus has just released an interesting documentary that dives into why there are so many different kinds of dog breeds and why they look the way that they do. Made by National Geographic, this documentary is called “How Dogs got their Shapes”. There is a great section that focuses on the history of the Labrador Retriever. We hope you enjoy it!   

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What is an AKC Breeder of Merit and Why Should I Care?

You may have seen the symbol below on our homepage. This shows that we are an AKC Breeder of Merit.  You might be thinking… yeah, so what?  But, truth be told, this can assist in helping you narrow down your list of breeders… In order to be a Breeder of Merit, a breeder has to meet the following standards taken from the AKC website: ” Requirements Has a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events. (we have 18 years of showing, 31 years of breeding) Earned Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on a minimum of 4 dogs …

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How to Choose a Puppy

Picking the Perfect Puppy Choosing to add a puppy to your home is a huge and rewarding decision. Choosing which breeder to adopt a puppy from is an incredibly important part of this decision (see Chapter 3). And choosing which puppy to take home… Well, if you’ve never adopted a puppy before, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. I remember a weekend when we had a litter of eight pups meet their new families and go on to their furever homes. There were five girls and three boys in the litter. Watching each person interact with the pups and try to make …

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Giardia and Coccidia—Parasite or Bacteria?  How can it harm my dog? If my dog picks it up, how do I get rid of it?

If your dog is experiencing watery stools? (not soft but watery or squirting) You may want to check for these two hidden, very hard to find parasitic protozoa (unlike intestinal worms) lurking in your dog’s GI tract. If you’ve ever been to Mexico and didn’t drink the water—it’s, most times, because these are lurking in their water sources—they sell drugs for it at their pharmacies! I have to admit, I’ve gotten giardia myself while traveling. Our dogs are even more sensitive to water change, no matter what. However, during years when it’s very WET and there have been a lot …

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Inverted vulvas–normal or not? Also a note on Urinary Tract Infections in females and male canines

  This blog post is probably 33 years too late, and I’m not real sure why I never thought to write about it before. But it’s something so common that we just never saw it as something that needed to be addressed, necessarily, and never gave it another thought and never had any issues with it.  Some say it runs in bloodlines, but in 33 years of breeding Labs I can’t say I’ve personally seen that trend. And as I’ve had a few females myself that had them, I’ve lived with several and never had an issue. Always pops out …

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How Can We Let These Little Babies Go?

I would say almost every puppy pick-up weekend I’ve had, people ask me “How do you let them go? I couldn’t do it, I’d want to keep them all!”, or something along those lines. And my initial response is “It was hard for me at first!”. I’ve been working here with the Stanleys for over 7 years now, and I still remember my first summer sending home puppies. I’d hold the little sweet babes I just watched grow their first 8 weeks, and say to Donna, “Can we just keep them???”. And while puppy snuggles are truly magical and few …

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Rubbing a Blanket on Mama to Take Scent Home for New Puppy… Good idea? Or not so much?

Are you bringing home a new puppy this Summer? Trying to prepare to make the smoothest adjustment possible for you and the pup? Some will find online advice telling them it’s a good idea to take a blanket to the breeder’s house and “rub down mama” with it to take home her scent. They say that the puppy will then find this comforting amidst its transition. To be honest, there’s a couple of reasons why we don’t actually recommend this to new puppy parents, and here’s why… The first is this: First and foremost, we think it’s a better idea …

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Its SNOWING!!!  (What are those white flakes on my dog??)

Inevitably, as I counsel people daily about dogs, and specifically nutrition, they will make mention of a “flakey coat.” Some may describe it as “greasy” even. So what are these little buggers and why do we stress so much about them? BECAUSE ITS WHEN OUR DOG IS STRESSED.  I learned this at my first dog show as my dog leapt out of the SUV and immediately started flaking over his entire body. He was excited. He was also slightly stressed at all the noises of dogs and hub bub that a show ground can bring. Then, the next thing I …

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POOP WATCHERS

If you are a “true” dog person you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.  All those trips out into the yard in the rain or snow to check “the poop.” Many times it gives us an idea if our dogs are getting the nutrients they need, or if they are stressed, and that its not watery or runny. Has he pooped? When?  What texture?  I mean, its like we are examining baby diapers all the time like a good mother. Right? Or are we all just crazy?  LOL Although I predominantly feed a  raw diet,  my daughter had an experience she …